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Opening up a new section of the Hall of Fame the first induction needed to be someone that can handle being a first induction. There is no other first induction for a manager section than Bobby Heenan. Debuting in 1961, Bobby Heenan quickly became one of the most hated managers in the Chicago territory mainly managing the Valiant Brothers before sliding over to the AWA where he would become a household name. Under the AWA banner Heenan would manage the legendary tag team of Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens before starting his first installment of the Heenan Family. Heenan would manage Nick Bockwinkel, Blackjack Lanza, Stevens, and Bobby Duncum Sr. as a part of his family.
While managing Bockwinkel and Stevens it was during a feud with Dick The Bruiser and Crusher when The Bruiser would call Heenan a weasel which would be a nickname that Heenan would have for the remainder of his career. Bobby would become one of the first handful of names to be brought over to the WWE in the early days of Vince's national expansion. Bobby's first client in WWE was Big John Studd during his feud with Andre The Giant. During his career he would manage the likes of Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff, Haku, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Hercules, Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, and various others. Famously, Bobby was credited (in storyline) with buying Andre The Giant and turning him heel prior to Wrestlemania 3 in order to feud with Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship.
During his time in WWE, Bobby would become in no uncertain terms one of if not the greatest color commentators in wrestling history. Forming a generational tandem with Gorilla Monsoon the duo made Primetime Wrestling must see television due to Bobby's comedic timing and the duo's unmatched chemistry. Much like he had in 1984, Bobby would become one of the first handful of talents to jump ship to WCW from WWE. From 1994 to 2000, Bobby would be one of the highlights of WCW programming as the weekly color commentator for both Nitro and Thunder.
Sadly, Bobby was left unable to mostly speak in his later years due to his long term battle with throat cancer. Bobby was able to allow another generation to see him work his magic during sporadic appearances in TNA and occasional appearances in the early 2000's in WWE. I still remember watching Wrestlemania XX when Bobby & Gene Okerlund were found with Moolah & Mae Young. In my opinion, Bobby Heenan is without question the greatest manager of all time and there is nobody more deserving to be the first inductee for this section of the Hall of Fame. It is my absolute honor to welcome Bobby "The Brain" Heenan into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame Class of 2022.